It should be noted that Roy Williams does not care for the radio show bit. I think if he had a choice he would follow the lead of his counterpart in Durham and not do them. And I really cannot blame him for not wanting to take an hour of his life every week to sit there and field calls from Betsy Sue in Manteo who wants to tell Roy how nice he is. That being said, it is his burden to bear and we get some nice morsels to chew on ahead of the opener Wednesday night.
I think they’re both significantly better than they were last season. Last year they were like a deer in headlights running around and not knowing where they were supposed to be and what to do when they got there. I think they’ve done a much better job being involved in practice. Both guys are going to be very good players. On Friday in the exhibition game I would have started Alex, since I started Deon the first game, but Alex had strep throat on Thursday and wasn’t able to practice so we tried to cut back his playing time. If I really had to answer that question to say who’s improved the most, I’d say Deon … I do think those two guys have improved more than anyone. Deon has a chance to be a big scorer and Alex a big-time rebounder and defender
So basically we are looking at a two headed monster situation. Thompson has the better offensive game but Stepheson is the better defender. Decisions, decisions. The ability to make the hustle plays i.e. rebounding and defend carries significant weight with Roy. Given the fact that Tyler Hansbrough is a load inside, how much willingness is there to settle for less offensive production from Stepheson over Thompson as certain stretches? That probably depends on the game and opposing personnel. As for who might start between the two, Roy has yet to make up his mind on that either.
Right now I’d say Tywon Lawson at the point, Wayne Ellington at the two, Marcus Ginyard at three, Tyler Hansbrough … and I’m not sure about the other spot, whether it’d be Deon or Alex.
A slight pat on the back to myself for calling four of the five starting positions correctly last spring. I do find it interesting he is debating the Thompson/Stepheson decision because I thought Thompson was the better option even with the defensive deficiencies. This only proves that what goes on during practice is often a completely different picture than what we see for two hours during the game.
It’s strange because we play in Charlotte on Wednesday night, then play in the Smith Center on Sunday and Tuesday and then we’re gone for 31 days. We play four games on the road that are true non-conference road games. You can look at most of the Top 10, Top 20 in the country and very few people are going to play four true non-conference road games. It’s the kind of scenario where most people don’t do that and it’s just the way it fell on our schedule. But for us it’s the kind of schedule that will challenge us a great deal early and will tell us what we need to know about our team.
There is a word for this schedule setup: insane. Not that I am complaining. I think it is good experience ahead of the NCAA Tournament and it does serve as a barometer for what kind of team you have. Still it will be interesting to see the team handle the travel and in case you have not noted it yet, those of us on the east coast are in for a long night November 23rd. Tip time in Las Vegas vs. Old Dominion is 11:55 PM EST.
I spoke to a recruit’s parent last night in Los Angeles, California and asked him if he heard a huge sigh of relief at about 7 p.m. his time Friday night because it was about 10 p.m. my time. After I met with the team, I went to the trainer’s room to check on Tyler and everyone was laughing like crazy, so I thought that was a good sign. His thumb for two years just keeps getting jammed. He’s fine, we held him out of contact on Saturday morning and today let him practice. If we’d had to play a big-time game, he’d have gone back in, but that’s just Tyler. What they were all laughing about is they were checking his right thumb and then they checked the left to get a comparison and they figured out the left was much worse than the right.
That’s funny. While UNC fans all over the state were lining the bridges in anticipation that Hansbrough was out for eight weeks with a broken appendage(hello Kenny Smith) Roy, the trainer and Hansbrough were yucking it up over the fact the preseason POY has irrevocably damaged his thumbs to the point his “normal” left thumb looks worse than the injured right thumb did. Anyway, good to hear he was okay, though it was clear during the game broadcast it was not a big deal.
Source: Inside Carolina